Photo of Guanacaste

About Guanacaste

Recently, the Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste was given a "Blue Zone" status, because those living there fortunate enough to be over 100 still managed to live active and healthy lives. It's easy to see why. A province in northwestern Costa Rica, Guanacaste boasts pristine white sandy beaches and a renowned surfer culture. Laid-back and beautiful, it also claims rare dry tropical rainforests, volcanoes and an outland dominated by cowboys and rodeos. In our collection of the best places to stay in Guanacaste, we've highlighted a delicious range of boutiques, pampering luxury resorts and ocean-front eco-hotels, all of which are perfect for that tropical seaside escape you've been dreaming of, not to mention the superb inland eco-lodges that we've found!

Stretching from the yoga-loving, underdeveloped beachfront of Nosara to the Nicoya Peninsula, the province is defined by a chilled out, but healthy pace-of-life, with golf courses strewn along the Papagaya Peninsula, awesome surf schools in Tamarindo and a wide range of adventure sports on offer in the area around Arenal Volcano. Whether you're watching turtles nesting in Tamarindo, enjoying a bird-watching tour in the Santa Rosa National Park or just lazing in the sunshine on the Playa Azul, you'll fall in love with this enchanting and diverse province.

Where to stay - which town/area?

  • Tamarindo is a wonderful town. Boasting fantastic beaches, watersports like surfing predominate here, but the real charm lies twofold: firstly, during nesting season, you can watch turtles lay their eggs on the beach, and secondly, the Saturday farmer's market is delightful. It's also a good place to stay if you want to be close to the rain forest.
  • Nosara is quite underdeveloped, but therein lies the charm. Popular with surfers, (it is one of the fastest-growing surf towns in the world}. it's also renowned for its yoga retreats and Ostional Wildlife Refuge.
  • Nicoya Peninsula is ideal for hikers and bird-watchers with its location close to the wildlife refuges of Cabo Blanco and Diria National Park.

A mesmerising region of unexplored enchanting natural beauty, Guanacaste is great for surfers, hikers or just those looking to escape. However Costa Rica is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, so if you don't want to be disappointed, we advise you book your choice of the best places to stay in Guanacaste as soon as possible.

The best places to stay in Guanacaste

For Tamarindo

  • Cala Luna is a contemporary boutique hotel boasting an enviable location rght on Playa Langosta, on the outskirts of Tamarindo. Chic rooms are light and airy with soft hues, plenty of glass and luxurious bathrooms. Spend days spotting exotic wildlife or surfing the waves. Fabulous.

For Nosara

  • The Harmony Hotel is an eco hotel steps away from the pristine surfer haven Playa Guiones, on the edge of Nosara. Ten secluded bungalows are beautifully designed with simple white washed walls, high beamed ceilings and private patios. Food is health driven and delicious.

For the Nicoya Peninsula

  • Villa Buena Onda is a small luxury boutique hotel sitting peacefully above Playa del Coco. The 8 spacious suites are contemporary in style with soft hues, minimalist design and large terraces to take in the outstanding views. A spoiling spa and pool complete with swim-up bar makes this a hard spot to leave. Glorious.

For Beach life

  • Azul Ocean Club Hotel is an elegant oceanfront club set in lush gardens. Light and airy white washed rooms benefit from lovely sea views. Feast on excellent cuisine in the Seaside Restaurant. Just steps from a white sandy beach and multiple tours are on offer to the surrounding nature reserves. A tropical paradise

Eco hotel

  • Rancho Humo is a contemporary eco ranch boasting a spectacular location on the plains of Tempisque River delta. Smart rooms are light and airy with floor to ceiling windows, crisp white linen and contemporary art. A glorious spa and tranquil pool provide utter rejuvenation after a day outdoors. Rural bliss.
  • Rio Perdido is a fabulous property nestling amid the forest in Fortuna and provides beautiful scenery right on your doorstep. It features chic, contemporary suites with an award-winning restaurant and there's even a thermal river with hot-spring pools! A splendid choice for a countryside escape.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • The best time to travel is during the dry season, between January and April, when the temperature ranges between 22 and 35 degrees celsius.
  • Fly to Daniel Oduber International Airport, in Guanacaste.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Guanacaste

  • Azul Ocean Club Hotel Playa Azul, Guanacaste 15 rooms from £116

    An elegant ocean front club set in lush gardens. Light and airy white washed rooms benefit from lovely sea views. Feast on excellent cuisine in the Seaside Restaurant. Just steps from a white sandy beach and multiple tours are on offer to the surrounding nature reserves. A tropical paradise.

    Back to Nature  -  Explore local nature reserves and witness turtles nesting.
    Beach Life  -  Located right on a white sandy Playa Azul beach.
    Birdwatching  -  Take a tour of Palo Verde National Park, one of the best bird watching sites in Costa Rica.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels
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  • Rancho Humo Guanacaste 10 rooms from £133

    A contemporary eco ranch boasting a spectacular location on the plains of Tempisque River delta. Smart rooms are light and airy with floor to ceiling windows, crisp white linen and contemporary art. A glorious spa and tranquil pool provide utter rejuvenation after a day outdoors. Rural bliss.

    Back to Nature  -  Boasting an outstanding location amongst the wetlands and bordering the Palo Verde National Park.
    Birdwatching  -  Head out into the wetlands with the hotel naturalist.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Check Availability
  • Rio Perdido Guanacaste Province 20 rooms from £168

    The fabulous Rio Perdido is nestled amongst the forest in Fortuna and provides beautiful scenery right on your doorstep. It features chic, contemporary suites with an award-winning restaurant and there's even a thermal river with hot-spring pools! A splendid choice for a countryside escape.

    Total relaxation  -  Rio Perdido offers an extensive array of spa treatments to help you fully unwind
    Hideaway  -  A veritable jungle hideaway
    Great walks  -  Make the most out of the more than 11 km worth of surrounding hiking trails
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Check Availability
  • Cala Luna Tamarindo (Guanacaste) 41 rooms from £173

    A contemporary boutique hotel boasting an enviable location just steps away from white sand Playa Langosta. Chic rooms, suites and villas are light and airy with soft hues, plenty of glass and luxurious bathrooms. Excellent restaurant, poolside bar and pampering spa treatments. Fabulous.

    Active Holiday  -  The coastal rainforest positioning provides the perfect terrain for numerous outdoor pursuits.
    Sailing  -  Take a half or full day excursion in one of the hotel's boats and choose to snorkle, fish or dive.
    Surfing  -  The hotel offers lessons and Tamarindo beach is perfect for beginners.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Check Availability
  • The Harmony Hotel Nosara, Guanacaste 10 rooms from £281

    An off the beaten track eco hotel situated on the pristine surf beach at Playa Guiones. Ten secluded bungalows are beautifully designed with simple white washed walls, high beamed ceilings and private patios. Food is health driven and delicious. A grown-up surfers haven.

    Back to Nature  -  Set amidst the jungle find howler monkeys, hummingbirds and iguanas all just within the garden.
    Surfing  -  A surfer's paradise with great waves and just steps from the beach.
    Kayaking  -  Kayak along the Nosara river estuary and search the jungle for wildlife along the way.
    Fishing  -  Go deep sea fishing for ahi tuna, dorado (mahi mahi) and snapper.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check Availability
  • Villa Buena Onda Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste 8 rooms from £437

    A small luxury boutique hotel sitting peacefully above Playa del Coco. The 8 spacious suites are contemporary in style with soft hues, minimalist design and large terraces to take in the outstanding views. A spoiling spa and pool complete with swim-up bar makes this a hard spot to leave. Glorious.

    Honeymoons  -  An adult only intimate boutique hotel in the depths of the Costa Rican jungle. Ideal for some alone-time.
    Back to Nature  -  Set amidst the jungle find howler monkeys and exotic birds within the property grounds itself.
    Cooking classes  -  Learn to cook like a Costa Rican in the hotel's complimentary classes.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check Availability